The Lightning hired Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman as their new general manager on Tuesday. Whether he can lead the Lightning to success vs. the offshore betting odds is in debate but his track record sure is a good one.
Online bookmaker odds didn’t favor Tampa Bay that often this past season. The Lightning did not make the playoffs for the third straight season. A new direction was needed and the team went with Yzerman. He was vice president of the Detroit Red Wings and he led Canada to the Olympic gold medal as their executive director. The Lightning are going in a new direction as general manager Brian Lawton and head coach Rick Tocchet were fired last month.
Yzerman would probably have stayed in Detroit but Ken Holland and Jim Nill were above him and neither was expected to leave. Yzerman will be expected to turn around Tampa Bay. Yzerman won three Stanley Cups as a player and is a very popular player in hockey circles. He inherits some talent with Tampa Bay but the Lightning still need to make changes. They went 34-36-12 last season. They won it all back in 2004 but they have done very little since.
Tampa Bay still has Vincent Lecavalier but their new star is Steven Stamkos who led the league in scoring with 51 goals. He led the Lightning with 95 points last season. The Lightning also has a good goaltender in Antero Nittymaki. What Tampa Bay needs are more scoring support for Stamkos and some good defensemen if they are to be improved vs. the offshore betting NHL odds next season? The Lightning was just 23rd in the league last season in goals scored at 2.6 per game. Tampa Bay couldn’t stay out of the penalty box as they were first in the league in penalty minutes. That was a major problem since their penalty killing was just 22nd overall in the league. They were even worse on defense as they gave up 3.1 goals per game which was 27th in the league. Yzerman will be expected to make major improvements on Tampa’s roster and he will also be expected to bring in a winning head coach.